Sabres buck losing skid, beat the Capitals 3-2 in a shootout

Buffalo loses a two-goal lead, but gets its first win since late February

Kyle Powell
March 09, 2020 - 6:29 pm
Jack Eichel

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

65 minutes of hockey was not enough on Monday night, but the Buffalo Sabres eventually downed the visiting Washington Capitals, 3-2 in a seven-round shootout at KeyBank Center.

Newcomer Dominik Kahun scored the game-winning goal in the shootout as the blue and gold squashed a six-game losing streak. The win is Buffalo's first victory since before the NHL Trade Deadline back on Sunday, Feb. 23 at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

The Sabres opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game as Buffalo applied pressure and were able to keep a loose puck in the Washington zone at the blue line. From there, Rasmus Dahlin dished off to Marcus Johansson, who then passed to Victor Olofsson who was streaking in on the right side of the ice. The forward then wired a shot past Capitals netminder Braden Holtby for the 20th goal of his rookie campaign.

Buffalo made it a 2-0 advantage early in the second period as their power play went to work within the opening minute. Washington defenseman Brendan Dillon took a slashing minor just 18 seconds into the frame, and 35 seconds later it was captain Jack Eichel capitalizing on a beautiful passing play with Dahlin. After playing pitch and catch accross the ice, Eichel blasted a one-timer from the left-wing dot past Holtby, who was way out of position after committing to Dahlin on the right side. It was Eichel's 36th goal of the season and his first point since Feb. 22 in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, snapping a seven-game pointless streak.

That 2-0 edge would hold for Buffalo through 40 minutes of play as they kept shutting down Washington's chances in front of Linus Ullmark, who took a shutout bid into the third period of his first game since Jan. 28.

Ullmark's shutout bid came to an end 3:33 into the third period of play when Alex Ovechkin went to work off an offensive zone draw. Ovechkin flew into the faceoff dot, deked towards the slot and rifled his 48th goal of the year past the Sabres goaltender to make it a 2-1 contest.

Washington pulled even 10 minutes later thanks to an untimely bounce. Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov took a shot intended to be deflected by Ovechkin, who was down deep by defended by Rasmus Ristolainen, but the shot ricocheted off Ristolainen's skate and in to tie the game at 2-2.

That score would hold through regulation, though Buffalo thought they had taken the lead back shortly after Orlov's game-tying tally. Referees called a questionable goaltender interference against Jeff Skinner for contact on Holtby ahead of a go-ahead goal by Brandon Montour. Upon review, it appeared as though Skinner was pushed into Holtby's crease by a Washington defender.

With less than three minutes remaining in overtime, the Sabres got a power play with a chance to win the game, but they were unsuccessful despite some good looks.

In the shootout, it turned into a marathon with the Sabres emerging victorious in seven rounds. Rasmus Dahlin scored the first goal in the fourth round, but it was quickly matched by Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov to extend the shootout. In the seventh round, Kahun beat Holtby with a move to the backhand that slid through his five-hole. In the back half of the round, Ullmark stopped Capitals forward Richard Panik to give Buffalo the win.

 

GAME SUMMARY

 

Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 4:53 - Victor Olofsson (20) (Marcus Johansson, Rasmus Dahlin)
WSH: NONE

Second Period:

BUF: 0:53 - Jack Eichel (36) PPG (Rasmus Dahlin, Rasmus Ristolainen)
WSH: NONE

Third Period:

BUF: NONE
WSH: 3:33 - Alex Ovechkin (48) (Evgeny Kuznetsov); 13:11 - Dmitry Orlov (4) (Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson)

Overtime:

BUF: NONE
WSH: NONE

Shootout:

BUF: Jack Eichel - Save
WSH: T.J. Oshie - Save
BUF: Sam Reinhart - Save
WSH: Ilya Kovalchuk - Save
BUF: Victor Olofsson - Save
WSH: Nicklas Backstrom - Save
BUF: Rasmus Dahlin - GOAL
WSH:
Evgeny Kuznetsov - GOAL
BUF: Jimmy Vesey - Save
WSH: Alex Ovechkin - Save
BUF: Marcus Johansson - Miss
WSH: Jakub Vrana - Save
BUF: Dominik Kahun - GOAL
WSH: Richard Panik - Save

 

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 14:43 - Johan Larsson (Slashing - 2 min.)
WSH: NONE

Second Period:

BUF: NONE
WSH: 0:18 - Brendan Dillon (Slashing - 2 min.); 3:17 - Richard Panik (Tripping - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: NONE
WSH: NONE

Overtime:

BUF: NONE
WSH: 2:10 - Dmitry Orlov (Tripping - 2 min.)

 

Strategic Financial Solutions Stats of the Game:

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 26 (8, 9, 5, 4)
WSH: 35 (9, 8, 16, 2)


Goalies:

BUF: Linus Ullmark - 33 saves
WSH: Braden Holtby - 24 saves


Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 3 (33.3%)
WSH: 0 for 1 (0%)


Three Stars:

  1. Linus Ullmark - BUF
  2. Rasmus Dahlin - BUF
  3. Alex Ovechkin - WSH


What's Next:

The Sabres travel to Montreal for a date with the Canadiens on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starting at 6 p.m. from (716) Food and Sport.

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